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April 9, 1997

Origins of the Pernkopf Anatomy Atlas-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of Vienna Vienna, Austria

JAMA. 1997;277(14):1123-1124. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540380037023

In Reply.  —The medical faculty of the University of Vienna has produced negative headlines in recent years because of limited identification with the events occurring during and after the annexation (Anschluss) of Austria by Nazi Germany.1,2 Serious reproaches are the alleged existence still today within our medical school of organ preparations derived from victims of Nazi persecution and the unanswered question of whether the corpses depicted in Pernkopf's atlas are of the same origin. We deeply regret that no relevant investigations were initiated during the half century that has elapsed since World War II to shed light on all aspects concerning the university's role under Nazi dictatorship. Furthermore, it is deplored that the events associated with Nazi terror were systematically suppressed, forgotten, and sometimes even denied. Current staff of the University of Vienna condemn this policy of sweeping unpalatable facts under the carpet. It is only recently, on the occasion of